Why Edge Hill University?

I had my heart set on Edge Hill immediately. So much so, I didn’t actually apply for anywhere else. I don’t recommend this, you definitely need to have choices, but I like to think of it as a testament to how amazing this university is.

My initial experiences
When I was in sixth form, Edge Hill had just won the 2014-2015 University of the Year in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, so my college really pushed this university and I remember thinking it was really nice but I just wasn’t interested in going at this point. Years later, when I realised I wanted to be a teacher, I looked up Edge Hill straight away as I remember the impression it left on me and I requested a prospectus. I was blown away by the course choice, the surroundings and just everything they had to offer. It was perfect and I didn’t look at anywhere else I applied straight away. I lived abroad at this time, so the first time I actually visited the campus was on my interview day and I fell in love with it immediately.

My favourite bits
I love the Catalyst, the library, which luckily opened the year I started. It’s my favourite place on campus to grab a coffee, socialise, study in groups, study alone, take a lovely nature break (on the top floor roof garden). The Hub is also a great place to grab some food, as well as the Red Bar, Roots and the SU. Recently, I’ve dealt with the support and wellbeing team and they are just amazing, there is so much support for everyone and they truly care about you.

So, why Edge Hill?
I didn’t know what to expect when coming to university, but I do know I didn’t think it would be this good. The quality of teaching and learning is up there with the best of the best, the tutors are also an absolute asset and very supportive. The accommodation is great value for money and there’s always so much to do. Being situated in Ormskirk is nice as you are in a lovely, quaint little town but Liverpool is a short train journey away.

I love this university, come and visit and see for yourself.
https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/visit-us/open-days/

Amy

How to get over your sickness fast!

Freshers flu is real. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. I didn’t go out very much during freshers week and I still managed to end up with the flu – it will catch you, so be prepared. If you are looking to enrol on an education course, you will no doubt come into some nasty coughs and colds during your time on placement. It luckily fell over a weekend and I managed to fight it and although I wasn’t feeling 100% on the Monday, I felt well enough to go in and teach.

Taking precautions
Make sure when you pack for university you hit up Home Bargains and stock up on paracetamol, cold and flu tabs, lemsips, cough medicine, lozenges and all that jazz. Do not overpay, supermarkets massively overcharge. The first sign of a tickly cough or a runny nose, I straight away start taking medicine – it acts fast and you will feel worse but only because the medicine is flushing it all away. I also start taking cold and flu tablets, eating fruit and drinking hot drinks straight away, don’t just wait until it becomes a problem, do it straight away.

What’s effective?
I always have cold water, orange juice and lots of cups of tea. Lemsips are also really soothing for the throat but they’re not necessary, and they’re quite pricey. Orange, bananas and any other fruit really are effective at boosting your vitamins. Day and night, cold and flu tablets are the best ones, for me personally, and an Olbas nasal stick is the best thing if you have a cold. It completely unblocks your sinus and relieves that stuffy feeling. Cough medicine works wonders, like I said before it will make you feel worse but you’ll get better faster. The most important thing you can do is rest. Sleep. I spent the Saturday in bed, in and out of sleep and when I woke up on Sunday I felt miles better. Stay hydrated and fed, but sleep as much as you can.

Thanks for reading, keep those bugs away!

Amy

How to stay motivated

We are all prone to procrastination. Finding motivation can be really difficult when you have a lot on your plate, especially if deadlines are looming. I definitely fall into Netflix trap now and again but I have my strategies to get back on track with my work and studies.

Take away the distractions
Personally, my phone is the biggest hindrance to my concentration. If I get a notification, I’ll check it but then end up aimlessly scrolling through social media. At the start of this year, I downloaded an app called ‘Hold’. There are so many different study apps but this one is by far my favourite. When you press the Hold button, you earn points for every 20 minutes you stay off your phone and with the points you get you can claim different rewards, these are usually beauty, lifestyle, music travel offers and many more. Give it a try. The other big distraction I have is my surroundings, I either need a silent environment or a cosy environment. I love working in the library when nobody is there, but when it’s busy I just end up getting irritated – luckily the library at Edge Hill has little pods you can book so you can work in a quiet room on your own in a nice, productive environment.

Motivational playlist/music
I have a playlist on Spotify titled ‘Should be studying’ and it’s a nice mix of motivation and chill. Some songs give your brain a break and others get you focused and dialled in. You need balance when you’re working so taking timely, regular breaks are also very beneficial to your motivation. The other music that really gets me in a study mood is the ‘lofi hip hop radio’ on the ‘ChilledCow‘ Youtube account. It’s not lyrical, so it sets a very chilled, productive ambience.

Break down tasks
The first thing I do when I know I have a lot to do is make a to-do list and from this, make further to-do lists about how to achieve them. This helps to make them easier to tackle and achieve. With assignments, for example, I will start by evaluating the essay question, then get out the books I will need and read wider from those. Breaking it down into these segments helps to keep motivated as you are completing subtasks.

Thanks for reading. You can do it!

Amy

Study Abroad: All You Need to Know

Study abroad is an amazing opportunity that Edge Hill offers. It allows students to take a break for a year (or semester depending on your course), to go abroad and study a subject. This can widen your knowledge and experience and possibly improve skills such as learning a new language.

The best thing to do is to find out what places Edge Hill are in contact with, which you can have a look at here:

The list of places you can go to is broad, and it suggests the best countries to go to depending on the subject you would like to study. For example, doing a TV and Film production course, the best place to study abroad is Czech Republic, due to it being a film school.

You can get funding through Erasmus however, that is only if you go to a European country. The Erasmus grant allows you to get up to €300 extra a month depending on parental income. You can also apply for the student opportunity fund, allowing you up to £2000 extra to help cover accommodation and food.

There is a travel grant you can apply for as well with study abroad. You pay £303 first then, any flights after that will be covered by the University for up to 3 return flights in the year.

Study Abroad is definitely an opportunity I would recommend to anyone who would like to travel more or, improve their CV. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Ellis x

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Expectations VS Reality – Part 2

Hey everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your December at Edge Hill University! I thought I would do a part 2 of expectations vs reality at university because I enjoy reading them and writing them. If you want to read the first part, follow the link; https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2019/07/07/university-expectation-vs-reality/

Dress Code: A constant catwalk

Expectation

I am going to show up to my lectures with my best clothes on everyday. I will have a fresh new look everyday and and get up a little early to do my hair/makeup.

Reality

You rock up to lectures in the same jeans you’ve worn the past three days and an oversized hoodie (I personally see nothing wrong with this) and it’s a good day if you even remember to brush your hair before putting it in a bun or throwing a hat on.

I fell victim to this expectation before I started uni and even went as far as to say that I wanted to change my entire wardrobe…all lies. I thought I cared about looking put together when going to lectures but in reality, I wanted to be comfortable. If you are one of them people who actually look nice and decent going to lectures everyday, please teach me your ways.

Motivation will be at it’s peak everyday!

Expectation

I will get up early everyday and have a perfect study timetable that will never be interrupted or changed.

Reality

Some days you literally cannot. You just simply cannot do today. You got out of bed and did the first paragraph of your assignment and that is okay.

Take it from someone who studied nearly every single hour of the day for her A Levels, that when it comes to university, you are going to have off days, you are going to have burn outs. If you can’t follow your study timetable some day, take the day off and do not force yourself, it won’t benefit you at all. The next day will be better after a well deserved rest.

Cooking

Expectation

You will have meals prepared every night, a meal plan ready for each week and maybe cook for the flat on a Sunday. Jamie Oliver would be proud

Reality

I had porridge for my dinner last night.

Again, this is from someone who loves cooking and often thinks of themselves as a culinary expert but sometimes the thought of boiling the water for pasta is just too much. Just like the studying, you will have your off days and this is okay too. You can be Jamie Oliver tomorrow.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I had a lot of fun writing it and hope to do a few more in the future.

Thanks for reading, Lauren x

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

-Unknown-

Things to do at University around Christmas!

Hey everyone! Since it is the month of December, I thought I would keep to the theme of Christmas again as it is most people’s favourite time of the year. Last year was my first Christmas at university and in my opinion, there is no better place to get into the spirit of the holidays.

Image result for christmas page separators

It goes without saying that you and your flatmates should at least try and attempt a flat Christmas dinner. Even if you can’t cook it is still really fun and festive and a great excuse to get everyone round the table and have some laughs. My flatmates and I (mostly one person in the flat) cooked a Christmas dinner and while we waited, we exchanged secret Santa presents and decorated biscuits with icing. There was Christmas music playing in the background the whole day and everyone genuinely had a great time.

Christmas movie nights are just as essential to starting the festivities. Although this can be hard to find somewhere to watch movies on a big enough screen, it really is worth it. The Arts Centre at Edge Hill University also have free films Fridays and while they might not always be Christmas movies, it is still nice to be able to watch a movie together and for free!

One thing that I wish I did last year as a flat was go to the Christmas markets in Liverpool. Edge Hill University is located so perfectly that you are only a 40-minute train journey to Liverpool city centre that runs regularly. How about organising a day or night that you all get the train together and have a walk around the markets to get into the Christmas spirit?

Getting to and from the train station to the university during the week (Monday – Friday) couldn’t be easier as the Edge Link bus operate from two different points (main entrance and creative edge) of the university to the town every 20 mins! All you need to remember is your student card to get on for free. The bus also runs on a Saturday but not as long as during the week and there are no buses on a Sunday but luckily it is only and 20-minute walk into town from the university.

Image result for christmas page separators

I hope you enjoyed this brief little run down of how to get into the holiday spirit at Edge Hill University. I really enjoyed my Christmas time last year when I able to spend it with my flatmates and I hope you are able to enjoy your time as well!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

-Buddy, the elf-

Flying Home for Christmas…

Hey everyone and Happy December! With the Christmas holidays coming up and people flying back home to Northern Ireland like me, the Isle of Man or other places, I thought I would give some advice on how I make the flying process much easier and stress free.

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My first piece of advice would be to BOOK EARLY! I cannot stress this enough. Booking your flights early will not only save you money but also save you from panicking about trying to get tickets for a flight that is fully booked. I try to book all my flights early so that I am saving money and am more relaxed knowing that I am going home.

My next point is also very pivotal to a stress free journey home and that is to ARRIVE EARLY! My family and friends always make fun of me for arriving far too early at the airport (5 hours early…) but I’ll be the one laughing when they show up to a flight and miss it because they get stuck in security. Arriving at least 3 hours before a flight cuts out so much stress because you can find somewhere comfortable to sit, grab a coffee and listen to Christmas music until you’re flight is called. 

Particularly at this time of the year, airports can be so so busy and so it is always better not to underestimate the craziness of them and show up to your flight early.


Image result for friends airport gif

My final piece of advice when flying home this Christmas is to try and find someone to travel with. The reason I say this is because, if you book a flight that is early in the morning or late in the night, taking public transport to the airport can be hard and you might have to take a taxi. My flight home for Christmas last year was very early because it was the cheapest but it meant that no trains or buses were running so I had to book a taxi which cost me around £33. Flying with someone that you could share a taxi with will make this cheaper and it is also a lot more fun travelling with a friend.

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I hope that you have found this advice useful for when you are travelling home for Christmas and I hope that you have safe travels wherever you are going!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

-Maya Angelou-

Student Proof Recipes

Many of you may have come to University not knowing how to cook, or even what to cook. You may be having takeouts, which a) cost a lot of money and b) the majority of them are unhealthy. Here’s a few Student proof recipes that I think are super easy, healthy and not very costly.

Chicken Curry

This is probably one of my favourite things to cook. I tend to cook a big batch so I can split it up and freeze a few portions ready to have for a few dinners in the upcoming weeks. All you need is:

  • Chicken Breasts/thighs (thighs are cheaper to buy)
  • Chicken stock
  • Curry paste
  • Rice
  • Any vegetables you want: onions, peppers etc.

This is a basic recipe and all you do is cook the chicken with the curry paste, add chicken stock and seasoning and leave to simmer to cook all the way through, whilst cooking some rice in a separate pan. If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you can swap the chicken out for chickpeas or tofu.

Pasta Bake

One of the cheats for this is to get the packet seasoning of a chicken bake. You can buy these practically from any supermarket. All you have to do is have the ingredients it says on the packet and follow the instructions. Just make sure you have an oven proof dish and some good melting cheese to go on top of the pasta and sauce.

Chilli Con Carne

Again like the pasta bake, you can get a seasoning packet for this or even a jar of sauce already made. If you’re like me and have quite an array of spices in your cupboard, you could probably make this meal from scratch. For this particular recipe I use, there are a lot of ingredients. However, this makes a big batch so you can freeze the rest of what you don’t eat.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3228/chilli-con-carne

There are loads more recipes that I love to cook from BBC Good Food. I definitely recommend having a look!

Ellis x

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Where to Eat?

Going to eat at the HUB on campus at Edge Hill can get repetitive sometimes, and you just want something different. Here’s a few of the places I like to go and eat and hang out with my friends.

Starbucks

Okay, so this is an obvious choice but, especially at this time of year because its all Christmassy and cosy. I just love it! They have a selection of Christmas drinks and food too which is great to get something different to your usual order. I mainly come here after a lecture or when i’ve had a stressful day. Just to chill out. Also, this is a great study spot . All you need is your laptop, some music and a coffee, and you’re good to go!

Cobble

This is a very cute independent cafe and definitely one of my favourites since starting University. They cater for my allergy really well and the staff there are all really friendly. You can go there for breakfast, brunch or lunch (as suggested by their menu). You can also get take out items if you feel like you can’t eat a slice of cake but want one anyway.

Dinky Dory’s

Okay so this is a bit more of a ‘funky’ cafe. Everything is seaside themed and I would highly recommend going there at some point. Their menu is pretty decent, selling hot drinks and food such as waffles and pancakes, with many toppings to choose from. This is also a great place to go out to in the evening as they do a mixture of cocktails too.

Wetherspoons

This is a firm favourite of the students of Edge Hill. Coming here is definitely one of the cheaper options and has good food too. I remember last year me and my friends would tend to come here every Thursday as well all had a long day. After a while it got a bit costly, so haven’t gone as much this year. Again, like Dinky Dory’s, they do various types of drinks too, so coming here before a night out or just to hang out with your friends is a good place to go.

If there’s anywhere you guys like to go, drop it down in the comments below!

Ellis x

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Halls Vs Student Houses – my experience

Hey everyone, as I know from last year that this is the time that people living in halls of residence in their first year start looking for a place to live in their second year, I thought I would share my experience with student houses and how they compare to accommodation on campus at Edge Hill University.

In my first year of university I lived in Chancellors Court with 7 other people. I loved living in halls especially because I got on so well with my flat-mates and can say that I have made friends for life. 

The accommodation that I lived in also had en suite bathrooms which was nice because it meant that you could have a shower anytime you wanted and didn’t have to wait until someone else was finished using it.

Other aspects of halls that I liked; 

  • Close to lectures 
  • Close to the library 
  • There are more people in the flat than there is in a typical house and so there is less chance to feel lonely. 
  • 24 hour security 
  • More social (in my opinion)
Lake on the eastern side of campus lined by Chancellors Court and Chancellors South.

For my second year, me and three other girls found a house in town about a 5 minute drive from the university and quite close to the town centre. I really love the idea of living in a house because it feels very homely and you don’t feel as though you are constantly on university grounds. It is nice to feel as though you are not always in university when you go back to your living space. 

Living in a house also has made me a little more independent. It’s strange because I feel like more of an adult since living in an actual house as you have to handle the rent, bills, cleaning it and making sure that the bins have been taken out. I got used to this when living in halls of residence as we had lovely cleaners that took them out everyday.

Other aspects I like about living in a house;

  • Close to town 
  • Less confined 
  • No circuit laundry (if you know, you know)
  • No one living above or below you 
  • More freedom
Image result for ormskirk

So, when it comes to choosing which one I prefer, I lean more towards halls because it is more social and I like being closer to lectures and the library. However, living in the house has given me a lot more freedom to do things and I don’t feel the same pressure to always have to be productive and go to the library. I am more relaxed and can ‘chill’ better in the house better than I ever could in halls.

I really hope that you like this post. I really do like living off campus and having even more independence but, I also really miss living on campus because of how close it was to everything that I needed and because I miss living as a big flat and making memories. 

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.”

Jim Henson